But none of that is what I got to do that was so great and joyous. I got to go to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and watch Graciana and her partner Matt play great tennis in the Manhattan playoffs. You know I love sports. And I really love tennis. I was on the tennis team in high school. I played First Doubles and Second and Third Singles. (I miss tennis. I really loved playing it. Sadly, my neck isn't strong enough to play it anymore.) I have been to the US Open, on the outdoor courts at the National Tennis Center, but I had never been to a playoff on the indoor courts. It was great. Low-key, with tables, chairs, and couches in the viewing balcony. We brought snacks and drinks, including these fabulous looking tennis ball cookies that Graci's sister ordered from the Duane Patisserie:
And we watched the match. Graci's team won the first set, 7-5. When she nails her serve, she really nails it!
Then they lost the second 6-3. Third set is a tie breaker—first team to 10 points, but you have to win by 2. It was neck and neck, all the way, and in the end Graci and Matt lost, 10-12. But she played great and knew it, as evidenced by the post-match glow:
For me, I think the joy (and inspiration) really comes from knowing that Graciana is pursuing this thing she loves so much, while also having a significant career in a completely different field. I was truly happy to share the night with her and the rest of her fans.